Republic of Tunisia
Note: Gen. Zine El-Abidine BEN ALI (Democratic Constitutional Assembly—RCD) was reelected with 89.62 percent of the vote for a fifth five-year term in multicandidate balloting on October 25, 2009. In concurrent elections for the House of Representatives, the RCD won 161 of 214 seats.
Political Status: Independent state since 1956; republic proclaimed July 25, 1957; under one-party dominant, presidential regime.
Area: 63,170 sq. mi. (163,610 sq. km.).
Population: 9,910,872 (2004C); 10,372,000 (2008E).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): TUNIS (734,000), Sfax (Safaqis, 269,000), Ariana (252,000), Ettadhamen (116,000).
Official Language: Arabic; French is widely spoken as a second language.
Monetary Unit: Dinar (market rate December 1, 2009: 1.27 dinars = $1US).
President: (See headnnote.) Gen. Zine El-Abidine BEN ALI (Democratic Constitutional Assembly); appointed prime minister on October 2, 1987; acceded to the ...